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Comic Book / The Sandman Universe

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The Sandman Universe is a line of DC Comics published under DC Black Label. Launched to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Sandman, the books, like Gerard Way and Young Animal, were "curated" by Neil Gaiman, who chose specific writer for each book. They began with a Sandman Universe one-shot, which then led to four books:

  • The Dreaming by Simon Spurrier and Bilquis Evely. Dream absence from the Dreaming has created unintended consequences for its inhabitants. Ran for 20 issues.
  • House of Whispers by Nola Hopkinson, Dan Watters, and Diminike Stanton. Welcome to the House of Dahomey, the houseboat of Erzulie Fréda, where the souls of Voodoo followers go when they sleep. But something has upset the balance and Erzulie's realm has been tossed into the Dreaming. Ran for 22 issues.
  • Lucifer by Dan Watters, Max Fiumara, and Sebastian Fiumara. The Prince of Darkness is missing and not coming back. Trapped in a small town with no memory of how he got there and no hope to escape, Lucifer is also the only hope to stop the world from ending. Ran for 24 issues.note 
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  • The Books of Magic by Kat Howard, David Barnett, and Tom Fowler. Timothy Hunter is destined to become the most powerful magician in the world, but currently he's a teenager trying to deal with teenage issues. Too bad nobody told the deadly supernatural forces about that. Ran for 23 issues.

After a year, another one-shot, The Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer, was published and then three more books, dubbed "Year Two":

  • John Constantine, Hellblazer by Simon Spurrier and Aaron Campbell. John Constantine is back in London and ready to get his hands dirty. However, there's another Constantine out there pulling the strings, just waiting for the right moment. Ran for 12 issues.
  • The Dreaming: Waking Hours by G. Willow Wilson and Nick Robles. Lindy has the same dream every night of the Stratford House. This time, however, she runs into Ruin, a Nightmare, and nothing will be the same again. Ran for 12 issues.
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  • Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. A three-issue crossover with Locke & Key.

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    Tropes for The Dreaming 

    Tropes for House of Whispers 

    Tropes for Lucifer 

    Tropes for Books of Magic 

    Tropes for John Constantine, Hellblazer 
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: When John returns to London and takes back up his role, he finds that another magician, Tommy Willowtree, has taken his place. Tommy is exceedingly kind, clean, and hopeful, unlike John. He doesn't have John's skills, but he has different types of knowledge. He's also a vegan and into yoga. Eventually, John finds out that he was granted the role of "Magelord of London" by the "Guardians of the Merlintrove," which is just a bunch of junk that Clarice Sackville put together in order to trick Tommy into thinking his "destiny" was real because she needed someone else to keep things calm in London.
  • Take That!: It's clear that the Prime Minister doing disgusting, filthy things in one issue is Boris Johnson.

    Tropes for The Dreaming: Waking Hours 
  • Adult Fear: Lindy is trapped in the Dreaming, while her baby is in the real world. She is desperate to get back because of this.
  • Angelic Abomination: Jophiel is an angel. His real form has four wings and a lion head.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family The Burgess/Cripps family is large and convoluted. Roderick Burgess and Ethel Cripps were the gread-grandparents of Heather After, but she comes from a side of the family that the Burgess's disowned. She doesn't care, though, because Heather is determined to be the last of her line.
  • Call-Back: Many to the original Sandman series:
    • Brute and Glob show up in the Nightmare Box. Even though Morpheus destroyed them, Daniel has recreated them so that they will be loyal to him.
    • Heather After is the great-granddaughter of Roderrick Burgess and Ethel Cripps. She even has the eye totem that Ethel stole for protection.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Not exactly "punch out," but Heather After threatens to imprison Dream with the same spell as her great-grandfather if he doesn't let Ruin and Ben have their happy ending.
  • Fallen Angel: Jophiel was exiled from Heaven because he failed to recruit a dreamer to Heaven's side due to the intervention of Ruin. However, unlike a lot of other examples, Jophiel still retains his essential nature, i.e. helping innocents.
  • The Fair Folk: The second story arc is about Heather After's deal with the former King Oberon in order to depose Queen Nuala from the throne of Faerie. It doesn't go well.
  • I Know Your True Name: Nuala dethroned Titania by saying her true name. When Heather After learns this, she doesn't worry and accepts the deal with Oberon. We learn why in issue #11, when the Unseelie attempt to control Heather by using the name on her birth certificate. Which is her deadname, so it doesn't work and results in the Unseelie who used it dying. Heather, in turn, says there's no such thing as a "true" name, only the one you make and names them all Lost.
  • Love at First Sight: Ruin when he first saw the Boy.
  • Psychological Projection: Lindy realizes that everyone in the Stratford House is a projection of her own psyche. So none of them are the real Shakespeare.
  • Supernaturally Validated Trans Person: The Unseelie try to use Heather After's "true name" to control her, but collapse in pain instead, because that's not her true name, that's her deadname. Heather declares triumphantly that there are no such things as "true names."


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